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US states with higher minimum wages gain more jobs

July 19, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring data released for individual states suggests raising the minimum wage has an upside.

The 13 U.S. states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year are adding jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data provides some counter-intuitive fuel to the debate over what impact a higher minimum has on hiring trends.

Many business groups argue that raising the minimum wage discourages job growth by increasing the cost of hiring. A Congressional Budget Office report earlier this year lent some support for that view.

But the state-by-state hiring data, released yesterday by the Labor Department, provides ammunition to those who disagree. Economists who support a higher minimum say the figures acknowledge the data doesn’t establish a cause and effect.

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